Friday, January 12, 2007

Great open source e-Learning authoring tool: eXe

Since a few weeks I have a nice app on my computer: eXe. A great and simple tool to create e-Learning content. eXe stands for e-Learning XHTML Editor.

It's available for Windows, Mac OSX and Linux and it ships with some solid documentation. The downloading and installation of the tool is just a matter of some clicks. No technical expertise is needed. This is also the case for the authoring process.

It is available in several languages (over 20!) and it is using the tool Reload. It combines a simple and clear user interface with the basic needed functionalities to create a webbased training. As an author you can use 20 different templates for your pages. Navigation buttons are created automatically and you can select the skin you want. Examples of templates with technical/didactical interactions are:

  • - case study;
  • - objectives;
  • - multiple-choice question;
  • - RSS;
  • - reflection;
  • - Wikipedia article;
  • - activity;
  • - image with text.
These templates (called 'iDevices'....maybe Apple is behind this ;-)) can also be created by authors, without any technical knowledge.

It exports to some nice packages like SCORM 1.2, IMS content package, website, single webpage and a text file.

For instructional designers who want to create technically basic but didactical powerful e-Learning this can be a useful tool. Of course because you are using templates you will possible face some restrictions when you compare it to the freedom you have with tools like Lectora and Authorware but it will speed up the development process like crazy. When you combine this with the possibilities of a learning environment like Moodle you will have educational gold in your hands!

Check the Dutch site for downloads or the English site.

Some screenshots:

Authoring environment

Authoring environment

Published WBT

Published WBT


erik said...

Great to see that you've taken the effort to go one step further and have some hands-on experience. I'll try to make some time to catch up...

You sound more enthousiastic than you were at first glance? Not just because of the OSX-looks and names, I hope:)

Marcel de Leeuwe said...

To be honest: yes I'm pretty enthusiastic because it is such a simple, lean and mean tool. I worked with it to use it for the Fontys e-Learning training (I was presenting about course development tools).

IMHO it will work especially for educational designers who are new into the field. Although you can create your own iDiveces, for experienced users this tool will have too limited degrees of freedom and they will prefer a more extended authoring tool.

erik said...

Perhaps the eXe-functionality will gradually grow? I found a great resource at

erik said...

Ok, finally I've done some testing myself. Very easy to use indeed. Pity though, that the some additional iDevices are only available for Windows-users at the moment...

Anonymous said...

It's interesting to know what's your opinion on iSpring Ultra? Great tool, I think, definitely worth checking.